Workshop on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity

Pavel Makhnatch and Ivan Tsikota were granted funding to organise an alumni event in the first call for application in 2015. Below you’ll find a report from the workshop they organised on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity, 24 May in Minsk, Belarus.

The role of entrepreneurship is vital for both economic growth of a country and personal development of a person. There is plenty of opportunities for Belarusian youth to become successful entrepreneurs, many of them avoid starting up the business referring to a number of barriers. Meanwhile, the country has a number of prerequisites for starting up a business: good infrastructure, easy tax rules for private entrepreneurs, cheap labor and access to 200 million of customers within the trade union with neighboring countries.

The event took place on 24th of May and aimed at motivating Belarusian youth to start an entrepreneurial career by sharing inspiring cases and presenting experience of running  business in Belarus and across the borders.

The event started with a few lectures. Pavel Makhnatch presented the concept of entrepreneurship and value for personal and social development. Key challenges for entrepreneurs were also discussed, including concepts of value, time and money, as well as trade offs everyone make to balance between these concepts.

The second presentation was given by Ekaterina Tikota, a (re-)designer, whose project that was primarily focused on giving the second life to vintage items grew into a bright fashion brand. Ekaterina shared her experience going from a small idea for a participation in Belarusian Fashion Week within one year.

As a way to pull the audience out of geographical limits, Pavel Makhnatch gave a lecture on “Entrepreneurship across borders: when Australia is closer than you think”. He presented a personal case in building an ecommerce platform that is operating on a global arena with customers ordering from Australia, goods being delivered from all around the place, himself managing the project in Seattle and his partner contributing from the Phillipines. A discussion on applying Pavel’s experience into Belarusian context and a small presentation of the first Belarusian product for Kickstarter campaign followed.

Finally, participants were invited to perform group exercises on creativity and idea generation. All exercises were aimed at finding innovative solution for a common issue. Participants were invited to make a journey through the entire process of developing a stroller, including stages of idea generation, identifying potential customer and unique selling points, and prototyping the product.

The event concluded with the mingling event where the results of the event were summarised and conclusions made.